The Sabres enter the game sitting at 10-14-2 on the year. It has been a rough streak lately for the Sabres, as they have lost nine of their last 12 games overall. Last time out they faced the Detroit Red Wings. The Sabres gave up two goals in the first period, and then two more in the second before scoring their first. Rasmus Dahlin scored on the power play at the end of the second to make it 4-1. The Sabres started their comeback in the third period, first with a Casey Mittelstadt goal and then a Jeff Skinner power-play goal. Still, the Sabres allowed an empty net goal to fall 5-3 to the Red Wings.
Meanwhile, the Bruins enter the game as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They are 17-4-3 on the year. They have now won the last three games overall. Last time out they faced the Columbus Blue Jackets. In that game, there was no scoring in the first period, and Boone Jenner gave the Blue Jackets the 1-0 lead with just 35 seconds left in the second period. In the third period, Brad Marchand scored three times in six minutes, including two power-play goals. This led to the Bruins winning 3-1.
Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NHL Odds: Sabres-Bruins Odds
Buffalo Sabres: +1.5 (-115)
Boston Bruins: -1.5 (-104)
Over: 6.5 (+106)
Under: 6.5 (-130)
How to Watch Sabres vs. Bruins
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)
Why The Sabres Will Cover The Spread
Tage Thompson came back to the lineup last time out. In the game, he had an assist and took four shots, but still had a minus-two rating in the game. On the year, Thompson comes in with six goals and seven assists, good for 13 points. Still, the Sabres are without Alex Tuch. He had eight goals and nine assists before going out with an injury this year. The leading points man this year is Casey Mittelstadt. He comes into the game with six goals on the year, while also having a team-high 16 assists. This gives him 22 points for the year.
Just a point behind him is blue-line stuff, Rasmus Dahlin. Dahlin pushes the pace in transition, which has led to six goals and 15 assists for him this year. The goal-scoring leaders this year are Jeff Skinner and JJ Peterka. Skinner comes in with 11 goals this year and nine assists for his 20 points. He also has five goals on the power play this year. Peterka comes in with ten goals and nine assists this year, good for 19 points on the year.
With all the injuries, the Sabres are struggling to score, sitting 25th in the NHL in goals scored this year at just 2.85 per game on the season. They have struggled heavily on the power play as well, sitting 25th in the NHL in conversion with a 15.8 percent conversion rate this year and just 12 goals. The Sabres have been better on the penalty kill though, sitting 12th in the NHL with an 81.2 percent success rate.
It is expected to be Devon Levi in goal today for the Sabres. He is 3-4-1 on the year with a 3.73 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage. Last time out, he came in for a relief appearance. He allowed three goals on 20 shots in the game. Levi has been below .867 in save percentage now in four of his last five appearances.
Why The Bruins Will Cover The Spread
The Bruins are led in goals, assists, and points this year by David Pastrnak. He comes in with 14 goals, 22 assists, and a total of 36 points on the year. Pastrnak comes in doing great on the power play as well, with four goals and 11 assists when man-up this year. Second on the team in goals and points, this year is Brad Marchand. He comes in with 11 goals and 12 assists on the year, good for 23 points. He also has been solid on the power play this year with four goals and 11 assists.
Second on the team in assists comes from the blue line for the Bruins. Charlie McAvoy comes into the game with three goals, but with 14 assists on the year, good for 17 points. Six of those assists have come on the power play this year. Meanwhile, Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha are both having a solid year. Coyle enters the game with nine goals and 11 assists this year, while Zacha enters the game with eight goals and 11 assists this year.
The Bruins sit 11th in the NHL in goals per game this year at 3.33 goals per game on the season. They are also tenth on the power play this year, sitting with a 22.8 percent conversion rate on the year and 18 power-play goals. They are the best when man down this year though. The Bruins have a success rate of 89.0 percent when giving up a penalty.
It is expected to be Linus Ullmark in goal today for the Bruins. He is 8-3-1 on the year with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Last time out, Ullmark shook off two straight rough starts, saving 37 of 40 shots to take the win in overtime against the Maple Leafs. He has faced the Sabres this year as well, and in that game, he gave up just two goals on 34 shots, good for a .941 save percentage.
Final Sabres-Bruins Prediction & Pick
Boston comes in with one of the best offensive units in the NHL, and they are facing a weak blue line from the Sabres. Further, with Levi in goal tonight, he has struggled as of late, which should lead to more Bruins goals. The Bruins will be starting Linus Ullmark in this game. While he did have two bad starts, he has rebounded and in general, has been solid all year long. It seems Ullmark is back on track and he will shut down this struggling Sabres attack.
Final Sabres-Bruins Prediction & Pick: Bruins -1.5 (-104)